Salt & Wind Travel

The Best Roasted Garlic Oil Recipe

If you’re a fan of flavor, this garlic oil recipe is sure to become a kitchen staple. As a garlic fiend, I make this simple recipe almost weekly. The roasted garlic cloves are great in noodle dishes, mashed potatoes, grilled cheese, or salad dressing. Then, the oil adds flavor to grilled vegetables, soups, or for olive oil dip.  Yes, you can simply combine raw garlic and oil to make homemade garlic oil, but slow roasting yields sweetness without any of the harshness of raw garlic. 

I created this roasted garlic oil recipe after traveling with my friends at California Grown to Gilroy—the world’s garlic capital—to learn all about this workhorse ingredient. Gilroy, California, is renowned for its garlic production thanks to its ideal climate and soil conditions. And, if you’ve read what is grown in California, you know that nearly 90% of the commercially grown garlic in the United States is grown in the Golden State.

If you mention garlic and Gilroy, someone will no doubt mention Christopher Ranch. They’re the nation’s leading garlic producers and have been family-owned since 1956. We got to visit their operation which includes more than 6,000 acres of fields. Nowadays, Fresno has overtaken Gilroy in growing garlic, but the majority of processing still happens in Gilroy. While garlic is grown in various locations worldwide, using California grown garlic ensures the best flavor and quality.

Trimmed garlic on a small cutting board with a knife

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This garlic oil recipe is a twofer because it results in both fragrant roasted garlic oil and a spreadable garlic confit, which are effortless ways to elevate your cooking. You hear me talking about “layering flavor” to make a dish more complex, and these two flavor-boosting ingredients do just that.

A drizzle of the oil adds loads of depth to dishes, while the confit provides a milder, sweeter alternative to fresh garlic. Both can transform ordinary dishes—from corn on the cob to burgers—into something spectacular with just a spoonful.

Recipe Ingredients

For this delish kitchen staple, you’ll need just a few ingredients: two heads of whole garlic and one cup of extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil, or a combination of both, depending on your preferences.

How To Make This Roasted Garlic Oil Recipe

There are two ways to make garlic-infused oil: 1) you lop the tops of the whole garlic heads and roast them in the oil or 2) you peel the cloves first. Using whole garlic heads is one less step of prep, but peeling the garlic ensures every clove gets nice and golden brown.

Here we’re peeling the garlic but we often make it both ways. Follow these steps to make your own garlic oil.

Prepare the Garlic

Start by peeling all the cloves of garlic. Ensure they are free from any dirt or imperfections. 

Slow Roast

Place the peeled whole garlic cloves in a small saucepan or baking dish and cover with oil. Cover the dish then roast in a low oven for 90 to 120 minutes or until the garlic is soft enough to smash easily with a fork.

Cool and Store

Once the garlic is golden brown and the oil is fragrant, remove it from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Pour the oil into a clean jar or airtight container, store the garlic oil refrigerated in an airtight container, and use within a week. For extended storage, you can freeze the garlic oil in small batches in ice cube trays.

Top Tips for the Best Garlic Oil

Use Fresh Garlic

Fresh, high-quality garlic cloves will yield the best flavor. Avoid using prepeeled or jarred garlic.

Monitor Heat

Keep the heat low to prevent the garlic from burning and turning bitter.

Experiment with Flavors

Fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, peppercorns, or chile flakes can add wonderful new flavors to your garlic oil.

Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Hummus With Toasted Pepitas Recipe

What To Serve With This

This roasted garlic oil recipe is incredibly versatile. Drizzle it over roasted vegetables, use it to coat roasted potatoes, to make this hummus, or brush it on steaks before grilling for extra flavor.

The garlic confit can be spread on crusty bread, mixed into dips, or added to pasta sauces or casseroles for a gentle, roasted garlic flavor. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The best oils for making garlic oil are neutral-flavored oils that carry the garlic flavor without overpowering it. Olive oil is popular due to its health benefits and compatibility with garlic's flavor. However, other oils like canola, sunflower, or avocado oil can also be used, depending on personal preference or how you plan to use the garlic oil.

Garlic oil is a versatile condiment that can enhance a variety of dishes. It's excellent for drizzling over pizzas, pasta, or salads for added flavor. Garlic oil can also be used as a marinade for meats or vegetables before grilling or roasting. Additionally, it makes an excellent base for making garlic bread, sautéing vegetables, or as a flavorful dipping oil for bread.

You can easily customize garlic oil by adding other flavors during the infusion process. Popular additions include herbs like rosemary, thyme, or basil. Chili flakes, black peppercorns, or lemon zest can also be added to create flavor profiles. Just add these ingredients to the oil and the garlic and follow the same low-heat simmering process to infuse the oil.

While making garlic oil at home is relatively simple, it's essential to store it properly to prevent the risk of botulism, a rare but severe illness. Garlic is a low-acid vegetable that, when submerged in oil, creates an anaerobic environment that can encourage the growth of botulinum bacteria. To safely make and store garlic oil, always refrigerate it and use it within a week. For longer storage, freezing the oil can extend its life safely for several months.

Roasted Garlic Oil Recipe

Requiring nothing more than garlic and olive oil, this homemade infusion adds a rich, aromatic touch to any meal.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Calories 120 kcal


  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic head


  • Turn the oven to 275°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place the garlic cloves in a small pan or pot or baking dish and cover with the oil (the garlic cloves should be fully submerged).
  • Cover the pan or baking dish, place it in the oven, and slow roast until the garlic is easily smashed with the back of a fork, at least 90 and up to 120 minutes. Very carefully remove the pan or baking dish and let cool completely. Once cool, place in a clean glass jar and store refrigerated until ready to use.
    Note: The Roasted Garlic Oil can be made up to seven days ahead of time. Store refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use if it has solidified, set it at room temperature for the oil to liquify. Makes 1 cup Roasted Garlic Oil.
    Safety: While garlic confit is generally safe, there's a small risk of botulism since garlic stored in oil creates a low-oxygen environment where bacteria can thrive. Cooking the garlic well and refrigerating it below 38°F significantly lowers the risk. Be sure to eat within a week to stay on the safe side!
    Photo Credit: Photo of garlic field and garlic stalks courtesy California Grown by James Collier; all other photos by Team Salt & Wind Travel



Serving: 1 servingCalories: 120kcalCarbohydrates: 0.1gProtein: 0.02gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gSodium: 0.3mgPotassium: 2mgFiber: 0.01gSugar: 0.004gVitamin A: 0.03IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 1mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword garlic confit, garlic oil, infused oil
Tried this recipe?Mention @saltandwind or tag #swsociety!

Travel Planning Resources

This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to our privacy policy.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


We'll help you taste Italy Mexico California Hawaii Mexico France Spain the world

We specialize in food-focused experiences in the most interesting culinary regions of the world.

We host unique small group trips to California, Italy, and Mexico from Sicily to Oaxaca.

Our tailored-to-you trip planning services help you make the most of your trip.